Living and loving with awareness implies caring deeply about other people in our lives, whilst at the same time remaining detached and releasing any sense of ownership; speaking out when there’s injustice, but doing so with non-judgement. It requires us to use our skills and knowledge honestly to interact to the best of our ability, fully aware of the energetic and practical consequences of our thoughts, emotions, actions and words, and with personal responsibility for the choices we make.
Even when we feel mistreated and undervalued, rather than contracting or retaliating, the goal is to respond by remaining open and giving. When in the throes of personal or inter-personal conflict, if we manage to continue living and loving with an open-hearted awareness we will both demonstrate the degree of our integrity and ensure that energy continues to flow through our subtle body as well as through our life circumstances, instead of the energy becoming stagnant.
Free-flowing energy is essential if we are to remain healthy during stressful times and if we are to facilitate the best possible energetic conditions capable of ushering in change and improved life circumstances. Moreover, living and loving others and ourselves with conscious awareness can bring us a greater sense of peace and empowerment.
Modified extract from my book “She Who Is Unto Herself”
If you feel inspired, please check out my latest article in the 35th edition of More to Life Magazine, which is entitled “Foundations of Empowerment”. To give you a taster, it starts as follows:
“The art of living an empowered life is a bit like walking on a razor edge between: having faith that our life circumstances are serving a purpose (surrender) – unmet needs are also learning opportunities; and acknowledging the areas in our lives where we’d like to see improvements and, thereafter, making changes, no matter how small, so that we get the feeling of co-creating the reality we wish to manifest (direct action).“
Joy was learning that being fully in the moment was like listening very intently. The ideas that arose in that way were altruistic and full of meaning. They were ideas that it was worth acting on; indeed, that it was important to act on.
She felt the urge to become proficient in the art of acceptance, to learn to live life from the inside out. She could change her attitude to life by changing her mind and her feelings. Engaging with calmness and steadfastness notwithstanding the outer circumstances could become her creed. This she could do simply by focusing her consciousness beyond her emotions and mental chatter, knowing that the outer was secondary and that only the inner held any authentic meaning.
Mental chit-chat served no purpose aside from keeping her – and the rest of the human race – in a constant state of tension and malaise. She was tired of being ruled by her rational mind; being bombarded by its thoughts and having her mental space invaded by whatever memories, judgements or self-defeating patterns it decided to put there. Continue reading →
Darkness had fallen and the sky glistened with the moon and the distant stars, revealing the gateway to the universe. In the daylight hours, it was easy to fall for the illusion that there was nothing beyond earthly existence. At night, the truth of the vastness of the physical manifestation of Life could be glimpsed. The star-filled sky was humbling and awe-inspiring. Out here I can sense clearly that the Life that animates my own small existence also brings energy to all things everywhere, thought Joy. She sat down on one of the garden chairs and honoured the sadness she was feeling at the space left by the passing of her father, Dino. She allowed herself the time to experience her grief. As she wept, her tears calmed her.
Then, focusing at a point beyond memories and emotion, she recognised the beauty of a life that had ended. She acknowledged the energetic web that connected all beings in and out of incarnation. Her breathing became slower and more rhythmic; her body and facial muscles began to relax. She held her mind steady at the highest point of mental focus that was possible for her. Orienting her attention inwards to her sense of Self beyond her personality, she was able to observe her emotions and to slowly detach from them. She maintained her attention pointedly in the moment. There was no past, no future; there was only now. Continue reading →
A friend of mine once commented to me: “Most of our lives are lived purely in our heads.” This was a sobering reminder of the importance of distinguishing between our prevailing reality and the memories and/or fantasies we play out in our minds, which can often be physically and mentally exhausting. As far as memories are concerned, it’s helpful to acknowledge that there’s nothing we can do to change, or bring back, the past. In terms of fantasies, whether of outcomes we wish for or fear, although it may be OK to indulge for a while, I feel it’s important to be able to do so in moderation since oftentimes those hopes/fears never come to pass in the end, so a lot of time and energy can be spent on something that ultimately has no purpose. As such, don’t mind the gap i.e. the gap between where you are and where you wish to be; or who you are and who you want to become. The gap is part of the game of physical-plane life. It will always be there; so, there’s no point in stressing over it. Once you cross the gap, a new gap will surely materialise (unless you reach enlightenment first) and the whole process starts over. I feel we’d do well to teach our children from an early age this aspect of living an empowered life as it would spare them much personal suffering and assist them in living a more joyful existence.
Tantra promotes the healing of the perceived fault lines between dualities like energy and matter, masculine and feminine, rational and transrational (spiritual). The tantric worldview “does not overcome [rationality], but crosses through it […] [and] again sees the human being as part of a species connected with nature and the cosmos.” In this way, Tantra defies what Western modernity perceives to be the limits of our human constitution by facilitating the building of the bridge between the personal, transpersonal and transrational.
To achieve these existential and spiritual goals, Tantra promotes feeling rather than thinking, being rather than doing – by way of mindfulness, non-judgement, acceptance and surrender to the present moment; together with the integration of all forms of love – from love of oneself, to platonic and familial love, to sexual love, to altruism, to agape. Tantra integrates all facets of physical existence, which is why sexuality isn’t excluded. However, sex and sexuality aren’t given any greater focus than the other aspects of the human constitution. For this reason, it’s clear that the tendency, in the West, to equate Tantra almost exclusively with sex is an exceedingly imbalanced and inaccurate perspective.
Sam Red, 7 August 2015
 Dietrich, W. (2012) Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture. Palgrave Macmillan: London & New York, pp.266-267.